Larson Gross Website

  • Client Overview

  • Larson Gross is a full-service public accounting firm providing comprehensive financial statement, tax, and consulting services to clients throughout the United States and Canada. Founded in Bellingham, Wash. in 1949, it has remained locally owned while growing three office locations and becoming the tenth largest CPA firm in the Puget Sound area.
  • Industry

  • Accounting and Business Consulting
  • Services

  • UX Design
  • UI Design
  • Front-End Development
  • Art Direction

Situation

Larson Gross needed a new website. Their current site had served them well, even winning some awards when it debuted in 2008, but it was outdated – both in technology and design. While the site was still functional, it was no longer accurately representing how the company itself had grown and changed. When the site was created, the company was focused on telling the world about its product and service options. While that unwavering commitment to serving their client well hadn’t changed in the past 10 years, the story around it had. They realized in those years that their commitment to serving people well came about because they took the time to get to know their clients intimately. Because of their commitment to building lasting relationships with their clients, they learned how to offer the individualized services and support their market longed for. They needed a website that could tell that story.

Task

To build a site that told this new chapter well, I assembled a team of people that were adept at telling a great story. I operated as the creative director and developer and hired an additional designer and photographer. Each one of us brought a unique skill set to the group and together we had the pieces in place to create a site that would end up telling this next chapter of the Larson Gross story in award-winning ways.

Action

The first item of business was to do a deep dive into the Larson Gross audience and who they were targeting with this new story. After interviewing the marketing director, the CEO, and a number of senior partners we landed on 2 different audiences. The first group was business owners – companies that were large enough to have more than a few employees but not large enough to have their own bookkeeping, accounting, and HR services. The second audience was CPAs. Recruiting was extremely important to Larson Gross and with this new, effective storytelling they would keep their ongoing recruiting funnel alive. We broke this second category down into two different subcategories: existing CPAs and college graduates. We wrote detailed personas for each audience.

Action

The first item of business was to do a deep dive into the Larson Gross audience and who they were targeting with this new story. After interviewing the marketing director, the CEO, and a number of senior partners we landed on 2 different audiences. The first group was business owners – companies that were large enough to have more than a few employees but not large enough to have their own bookkeeping, accounting, and HR services. The second audience was CPAs. Recruiting was extremely important to Larson Gross and with this new, effective storytelling they would keep their ongoing recruiting funnel alive. We broke this second category down into two different subcategories: existing CPAs and college graduates. We wrote detailed personas for each audience.

Next, we built out detailed customer journeys for each of the personas. How did they find the site? How did we want them to engage with the site?, etc. From there we built-out the site map, which helped us identify what pages needed to exist on the site for those journeys to take place. Once we had all the pages organized, we began to build low-fidelity wireframes to structure each page with the right informational hierarchy. Those wireframes also allowed us to see where we needed content.

It was during this content phase that we began to iron-out a concept around how we wanted to present the clients alongside the CPAs (i.e., relationships owners). It was decided that the client would always be presented in the foreground at their place of business, and the relationship owner would be presented contextually right behind. For the launch, we shot in 6 different locations – each representing a different business owner and long-term business relationship formed by the people of Larson Gross.

The final stage was the design and development of a 160-page website that incorporated custom illustration, photography, and animation, all to tell this next chapter of the Larson Gross story.

Results

Since its launch in January of 2021 – the site has received over XX daily visits and averages 9 new business inquiries a week. Not to be topped by its predecessor – this new website won The Association of Accounting Marketing 2021 Marketing Achievement Award for Best Website

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